Back in 2005, one particular action by Apple—then called Apple Computer—set the blogosphere and the online journalism community into a snit-fit: the famously secretive company sued three online sites—O’Grady’s PowerPage,Apple Insider, and Think Secret—for publishing stolen trade secrets related to an unreleased audio interface codenamed “Asteroid.”
Apple sued the three sites (and their ISPs) in an effort to get information on who leaked insider information to the sites. Apple won the suits, but the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation defended the sites on appeal, arguing they were entitled to the same protection afforded to journalists’s sources under so-called “shield laws.”
Asteriod never saw the light of day, but the legal wrangling is only now coming to an end: in a brief statement today, Think Secret announced it has reached a settlement with Apple and, while no sources were revealed, the site will cease publication. “I’m pleased to have reached this amicable settlement, and will now be able to move forward with my college studies and broader journalistic pursuits,” wrote Think Secret’s publisher Nick Ciarelli, a.k.a. Nick DePlume.
Think Secret had remained a popular Apple fan site. Financial terms of the settlement, if any, were not disclosed.